Reporting a crime

Reporting a crime

If you’ve been a victim of crime, it’s your decision whether you want to report the crime to the police.

You may be unsure about the process or feel uncertain about how the police will react. Perhaps you feel that the police won’t care or you’ve had a bad experience with them in the past. Victim Support Scotland can’t tell you what to do, but we can explore your options with you and answer questions about the process of reporting a crime.

If you do decide to report a crime

There are positive reasons for reporting a crime, including an increased chance that the offender will be caught. The police keep records of all reported crime which can help bring repeat offenders to justice. These records can also provide accurate statistics and reports about crime in Scotland which can positively affect the way crime is dealt with by the police and other parts of the criminal justice system.

Remember that the police deal with all sorts of crime every day; they should treat everybody fairly and equally, and put your safety first.

You can report a crime in several ways:


If it’s an emergency and the crime is still taking place, call 999 and ask for the police. Emergencies include:

·         there’s a risk of personal injury or loss of life

·         a crime is happening now

·         someone suspected of a crime is nearby

If you’re deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech-impairment, a text phone is available on 18000.


If it’s not an emergency, call 101. This doesn’t mean the crime is not important – it just helps the police to make the best use of their resources.

If you’re deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech-impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

Reporting a crime in person

You can go to your local police station and report the crime there.

Find your local police station on the Police Scotland website.

Report a crime anonymously

You can contact Crimestoppers to report a crime anonymously. They’ll pass the information about the crime to the police.

Telephone: 0800 555 111
Online: fill in the Crimestoppers online form

Hate crime

If you have been the victim of or witnessed a hate crime, you can contact a third-party reporting centre.

Third party reporting centres allow you to report the hate crime to someone in your community who you are more comfortable with. You can make an appointment with one of Victim Support Scotland’s third-party reporting centres and tell us about the crime. Our third-party reporting centre staff have been trained to assist you to submit a report to the police, and can make the report on your behalf.

What to expect after reporting a crime

If you decide to report a crime, the police will tell you:

·         The name, number and station of the officer dealing with your case

·         If they arrest or charge someone

·         About any charges connected to the crime

·         Whether your stolen property has been found or returned

·         Any other information you should know about the case

They should also keep you up to date with what is happening with the case.

You should let the police know if you change your address or phone number. Also tell them if you are worried about your (or your family’s) safety.

We will help you whether you report the crime or not. Our service is confidential, and we won’t pass on information to the police without your consent unless we think someone is at serious risk of harm and needs urgent help.

We can provide bespoke support and information to you and your friends and family who might also be affected by the crime.

First and foremost, we will listen to you and allow you the time to talk about your experiences. We will provide you with a trained supporter who has experience dealing with such cases and who can offer nonjudgmental support and information.

Our aim is to make you feel safer and be emotionally stronger and better informed of your rights.

If you or someone you care about has been affected by crime please know that you are not alone. Whoever you are, whatever the situation and whenever the crime took place, we can help you.

You can get in contact by calling our helpline – 0800 160 1985 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 8pm) or through our contact us page.

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help